Managing the Python path
pytest needs to be able to import the code in your project. Normally, when
interacting with Django code, the interaction happens via
will implicitly add that directory to the Python path.
However, when Python is started via the
pytest command, some extra care is
needed to have the Python path setup properly. There are two ways to handle
this problem, described below.
Automatic looking for Django projects
By default, pytest-django tries to find Django projects by automatically
looking for the project’s
manage.py file and adding its directory to the
Looking for the
manage.py file uses the same algorithm as pytest uses to
setup.cfg: Each test root directories
parents will be searched for
manage.py files, and it will stop when the
first file is found.
If you have a custom project setup, have none or multiple
in your project, the automatic detection may not be correct. See
Managing the Python path explicitly for more details on how to configure
your environment in that case.
Managing the Python path explicitly
First, disable the automatic Django project finder. Add this to
[pytest] django_find_project = false
Next, you need to make sure that your project code is available on the Python path. There are multiple ways to achieve this:
Managing your project with virtualenv, pip and editable mode
The easiest way to have your code available on the Python path when using virtualenv and pip is to have a setup.py file and install your project in editable mode when developing.
If you don’t already have a setup.py file, creating a setup.py file with this content will get you started:
import setuptools setuptools.setup(name='myproj', version='1.0')
setup.py file is not sufficient to distribute your package to PyPI or
more general packaging, but it should help you get started. Please refer to the
Python Packaging User Guide
for more information on packaging Python applications.
To install the project afterwards:
pip install --editable .
Your code should then be importable from any Python application. You can also add this directly to your project’s requirements.txt file like this:
# requirements.txt -e . django>=1.11 pytest-django
You can explicitly add paths to the Python search path using pytest’s
This option is available since pytest 7; for older versions you can use the
Example: project with src layout
For a Django package using the
src layout, with test settings located in a
tests package at the top level:
myproj ├── pytest.ini ├── src │ └── myproj │ ├── __init__.py │ └── main.py └── tests ├── testapp | ├── __init__.py | └── apps.py ├── __init__.py ├── settings.py └── test_main.py
You’ll need to specify both the top level directory and
src for things to work:
[pytest] DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE = tests.settings pythonpath = . src
If you don’t specify
., the settings module won’t be found and
you’ll get an import error:
ImportError: No module named 'tests'.